Most meditation techniques are exclusively passive.
You are told to relax and let go of thought. Of course, there
is nothing harder to do than to let go of thought. Trying to avoid
thought will keep reminding you of what you are trying not to
think about. Even if you did manage to still the mind and release
the rational, logical thought process, you have not directed the
consciousness with a statement of purpose. Releasing control should
be done selectively. You want to release your thinking process
to your Source, not just to whatever influence might be available.
The First Commitment
I will approach the meditation
experience with a sense of anticipation and expectancy. I expect
to be changed by this experience.
The first commitment is to avoid allowing meditation
to become routine. Your success in any venture depends largely
on what you expect to accomplish. If you enter meditation expecting
to repeat what you experienced yesterday, it is stagnation, not
meditation. If you expect limited success you have already accomplished
that limitation. It is not necessary to establish particular expectations,
but to approach meditation with a sense that 'something' is going
to happen, much like one approaches a lover with breathless anticipation.
Always enter meditation with a thrilling sense of expectancy,
as an adventure and as a growth.
The Second Commitment
I will forgive myself
all mistakes and errors. I affirm that it is all right to make
mistakes. I am not my past. I will not cling to an old image.
I am prepared to see myself in a new way. I will die to who I
used to be and find out who I can become.
Meditation is a step in Metamorphosis. If I continue to see myself
as a Caterpillar, I will not become a Butterfly. If I wish to
become new, it is necessary to end my association with what I
have been. If I keep my awareness of mistakes and failures alive,
I will identify with those mistakes and continue experiencing
them. The commitment to forgiveness releases both myself and others
from old images and allows us to become new. The commitment to
forgiveness is a commitment to die to the past and begin life
The Third Commitment
Old things are passed away,
behold all things become new.
The third commitment is to see myself and all life in a fresh
It is a commitment to a new life. I feel as though I am awakening
to a new and different me. I do not know yet just what I will
be like but I do know that there is a more beautiful me being
born and those who know me will be thrilled with the joyous, harmonious
new being I am becoming. If you deliberately give yourself this
opportunity for change every day, you will find out how easy it
is to release old habits and reactions. You will discover better
ways to relate and communicate. Any person who makes a daily attempt
to be a better and more beautiful person is a delight to be with.
People who become defensive and make excuses about mistakes are
people who are begging to avoid growth and change. They are also
doomed to experience again and again the uncomfortable results
of old patterns and habits. The third commitment sets your mind
on becoming new.
The Fourth Commitment
I commit myself to increase
awareness that I am not alone. There is a 'presence' or factor
alive within me, that spurs me on to growth. There is a living
impulse to be more than an animal or a machine. This presence
is like a teacher, a friend, closer than a brother. I will stop
all else for a moment to become more aware of this presence and
come to know it better.
The fourth commitment is an invocation of the Divine presence
within. It is an affirmation that the Source 'meets me half way.'
I am on my way to the mountain top. At the top of the mountain,
I will sit quietly with my Source to be renewed, attuned, fed,
and strengthened. But that Source is with me all the way. The
fourth commitment is the experience of stopping for a moment to
be aware that there is always something with me that inspires
and encourages me. It is the presence that is like a teacher,
The Fourth Commitment is a prayer which may say, 'I don't know
exactly what you are, but I do know that there is something within
me that encourages me to grow and seek God. You feel like a friend.
I am speaking to you now because I want to know you better. Allow
yourself to feel close with this inner Teacher. Make an assumption
that you have been heard and that your friend is with you in your
meditation journey. You can be sure this is so because it is this
very friend and teacher who inspired you to the meditation activity
you are engaged in.
The Fifth Commitment
Thy will be done.
Each of us has hopes, wishes, aspirations and ambitions. We may
have daydreamed about a particular wish to be fulfilled and we
may be struggling to produce the kind of life we have considered
ideal. The effect of these dreams can be a little comical when
they lead to vague apprehension that 'what God wants me to do
may differ from this dream I hold.' Sometimes there can be a feeling
of 'I'd rather not know.' Suppose God wants me to do this or give
up that? After all, the spiritual path is supposed to be hard,
The comical part of this thought process is the inherent paradox.
By definition, God's Will is what is best for me. God's will for
me is what will accomplish my purpose, what will best suit my
needs. God's Will for me is in every way what is best for me.
Would I will for myself anything other than what is best for me?
If my will and God's will should disagree, it suggests that I
am forming my will with limited information. I cannot see far
enough to realize that I am willing something not in my own best
interest. May God save me from that.
It is best, when entering meditation, to release all the things
that you are currently begging for. If they are in your best interest,
they will return to you because God wills it. If they are not,
it surely was best not to precipitate them. The prayer of the
Fifth Commitment is 'Help me release all my wishes and wants and
accept now exactly what suits my needs and opportunities. Thy
will be done now in me and through me.
The Sixth Commitment
Because I am now asking
for strength, renewal and inspiration, I commit myself to take
responsibility for all that I receive.
Entering into meditation is like asking for an appointment with
God. Surely this opportunity carries with it responsibility. I
do not intend to get up after meditation and go my way unconsciously
as if it never happened. I accept responsibility for taking with
me the peace and renewed vitality of this experience to add something
more beautiful to the world. I expect to be changed by this experience
but I also expect to take responsibility for making change work.
While I do expect the Source to work on me to effect change, I
also commit myself to that change. It is not exclusively a passive
experience. I will make an effort toward change. I will accept
responsibility for the inspiration and guidance I receive.
The Seventh Commitment
I commit myself to silence.
The previous six commitments have required an action or decision.
The Seventh Commitment is passive, silent, listening. Having made
commitments and taken action upon them, it is now time to release,
relax and let the meditation happen. Activity, visualization,
and thinking should cease and the meditation becomes a receptive
Finally, these commitments may appear complex and too much to
remember. But, all these steps are needed for a perfect meditation
experience. There is no need to settle for less.
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